Coney Island (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Coney Island is a small water park located on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of the downtown area in Anderson Township. Beginning in 1870, the original owner called the area Parker's Grove, which was later renamed Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West after the Ohio Grove Corporation purchased the park in 1886. The name was shortened to Coney Island the following season. Growth over the years spawned dozens of rides and attractions which led to its popularity as an amusement destination.
|Location||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Previous names||Parker's Grove (1870-1885)|
Grove Park, The Coney Island of the West (1886)
Coney Island (1887-1975)
Old Coney (1976-1985)
Coney Island (1985-)
|Operating season||May through October|
|Website||Coney Island Web Site|
Coney Island was sold to Taft Broadcasting in 1969 with intentions to move the park to a new, larger destination away from frequent flooding. The new park opened as Kings Island in 1972, although Coney Island's Sunlite Pool remained opened. Rides eventually returned, and additional investments and improvements were made to the Sunlite Pool area. These changes, along with the opening of the nearby Riverbend Music Center in 1984, allowed the park's attendance and profitability to recover. In 2019, Coney Island announced plans to remove all amusement rides with intentions to focus exclusively on its water park amenities.
Coney Island's founding dates back to 1867 when apple-farmer James Parker purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land along the shores of the Ohio River. Parker soon realized the popularity of the farm's location, and that renting it out was more profitable than his apple orchard. He named it Parker's Grove and eventually added a dining hall, dancing hall, and bowling alley. He later sold the land in 1886 for $17,500 to a company called Ohio Grove Corporation headed by two steamboat captains. For the opening on June 21, 1886, the name was officially changed to "Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West" in an effort to link the park with the famous New York destination. With its riverfront location, the riverboat became the most popular method of transportation for park visitors. In 1887, "Ohio Grove" was completely dropped from the name as the park became known simply as "Coney Island".
Over the years, Coney Island became a full-fledged amusement park, complete with rides and carnival games. In that capacity, Coney Island was a Cincinnati institution. However, the park's proximity to the river made it prone to frequent flooding. In 1968, park management entered into talks with Taft Broadcasting for the purpose of developing a new park on higher ground. Taft responded by buying Coney Island outright in 1969, and construction began the following year on a new site located in Deerfield Township of Warren County 25 miles (40 km) north of Cincinnati along Interstate 71. Coney Island closed its amusements on September 6, 1971, as most of its rides were moved to the newly completed Kings Island theme park.
After Kings Island opened in 1972, Taft Broadcasting intended to sell Coney Island's land for redevelopment. However, with the company's decision to open another theme park in Virginia (Kings Dominion) and its acquisition of Carowinds on the North Carolina-South Carolina border, the property's redevelopment became a low priority. Less than two years after closing, Coney Island reopened permanently in 1973. The park was only a shadow of its former self but still featured several popular attractions. The Sunlite Pool — still the largest recirculating swimming pool in the world — was one of those attractions that helped Coney Island remain a popular summertime destination.
The park donated 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land for the construction of Riverbend Music Center which opened in 1984. The land was the former location of the Wildcat and Shooting Star roller coasters. The Riverbend amphitheater serves as the summer home of the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras, as well as a concert venue for other musical acts. In 1991, Coney Island was purchased by Cincinnati businessman Ronald Walker. No longer held back by a corporate entity, management has been able to restore Coney Island as a traditional amusement park with familiar rides such as the "Tilt-A-Whirl", bumper cars, carnival games and musical shows.
Coney Island announced plans to remove all amusement rides from the park on September 21, 2019, but will continue to operate as a water park featuring the Sunlite Pool and other water-related attractions. The decision was based on attendance, consumer feedback, and rising costs associated with maintaining ride operation.
Sunlite Water Adventure Slides and AttractionsEdit
|The Twister||2009||The Twister is the replacement of the Zoom Flume. The Twister is a four-slide attraction. Two are body slides, and the other two are double or single tubes. They are not fully enclosed. They end in a four-foot pool.|
|Cannonball Cove||2019||It is three-foot diving boards or cannonball on a single-pool section near the main Sunlite Water Adventure main pool and Twister and this attraction replaced the Pipeline Plunge. In addition, the diving boards were located in the Sunlite Water Adventure main pool since they opened in the 20th century and they were relocated to the former Pipeline Plunge site and became Cannonball Cove due to Hamilton County's new rule from last year about Diving Boards being in a pool separate from the main pool.|
|Cyclone||2006||The Cyclone is a yellow enclosed slide that enters a pool near the deep end. It is four feet deep.|
|Silver Bullet||1945||This speed slide splashes down right in the heart of Sunlite Pool.|
|List of Former Attractions|
|Baby Bumper Boats||1984||2004|
|Bumper Boats||1990||2013||Replaced by Como Cruisers.|
|Como Cruisers||2013||2018||Battery-powered boats. Replaced with swan and dragon styled paddle boats.|
|Trabant||1993||2010||Replaced by Wipeout|
|Kiddie Circle Freeway||199?||2007||Carousel-car ride relocated from Kings Island.|
|Pipeline Plunge||1994||2018||Pipeline Plunge is a dual enclosed innertube slide. It replaced the Zzip. It was revamped during the 2011 season including new floats in which you lie on your stomach while riding down the flumes. It was removed before the 2019 season began and replaced by Cannonball Cove.|
|Zoom Flume||1977||2008||Zoom Flume, which had wooden supports, was the first of Sunlite Pool's large slides. It was removed at the end of the 2008 season and replaced by The Twister.|
|Zzip||1984||1993||The Zzip was similar to its successor, the Pipeline Plunge.|
|unknown||1967||1971||Classic Whip Jr. ride designed by William F. Mangels. Relocated to Kings Island and now known as Linus' Beetle Bugs.|
|unknown||1969||1971||Miniature carousel-car ride designed by Hampton Amusement Corporation. Relocated to Kings Island and now known as PEANUTS Off-Road Rally.|
|Log Flume||1968||1971||Log flume ride designed by Arrow Dynamics. Relocated to Kings Island, partially rebuilt for the 2001 season, and now known as Race For Your Life Charlie Brown|
|Dodgems||19??||1971||Standard bumper-car attraction, housed in the same structure as Cuddle Up and The Whip.|
|Monster||1969||1971||Traditional "Spider" ride that spins in three different circles at the same time. While it quickly raises and lowers riders as their cars continue to spin. Relocated to Kings Island and now known as Monster|
|Scrambler||1968||1971||Traditional amusement-park ride. Three arms spin riders giving them the sensation of almost hitting the wall. Relocated to Kings Island.|
|Galaxi||1970||1971||An SDC designed "Galaxi" steel roller coaster. Relocated to Kings Island (1972–1978) as Bavarian Beetle.|
|unknown||19??||1971||Giant slide. Relocated to Kings Island (1972–1995) as McScrappy's Slide.|
|Shooting Star||1947||1971||Roller Coaster constructed out of the Clipper.|
|C.I. & L.C. Railroad||1964||1971||Miniature railway over Lake Como and into the adjoining woods. Manufactured by Chance Rides.|
|Clipper||1937||1946||A twister wooden roller coaster. Segments of the ride were retained for the construction of Shooting Star.|
|Wild Cat||1926||1964||Roller coaster|
|Cuddle Up||19??||1971||A spinning flat ride manufactured by Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Relocated to Kings Island.|
|Rotor||19??||1971||A stick-to-the-walls spinning flat ride. Relocated to Kings Island.|
|Flying Scooter||1940||1971||A standard flying-scooters attraction. Relocated to Kings Island (1972–2004) as Flying Eagles. Relocated to Carowinds as "Danny Phantom`s Flyers".|
|Tumble Bug||1925||1971||A 1920s Harry Traver classic that pulled linked cars around an undulating circular track, similar to Turtle at Kennywood Park. Relocated to Kings Island (1972–1985)|
|Dip the Dips||1911||1918||Roller coaster|
|Dip the Dips 2||1918||1925||Roller Coaster, replaced the first Dip the Dips.|
|Figure 8||19??||1918||Roller coaster|
|Little Dipper||19??||19??||Roller coaster|
|Sky Rocket||1921||194?||Roller coaster. John A Miller design.|
|Teddy Bear||1935||1971||Junior wooden coaster|
|Twister||1926||1936||Enclosed roller coaster. Manufactured by Philadelphia Toboggan Company.|
|Wild Mouse||1958||196?||Roller coaster|
|Sky Ride||1965||1971||A cable-car skyride. Relocated to Kings Island (1972–1979).|
|Lost River||1928||1971||Mill Chute Ride, formerly Cascades (1928–1940)|
|Carousel||1926||1971||The classic carousel was built in 1926 and is painted with more than 20,000 sheets of 23-karat (96%) gold and 1,000 sheets of sterling silver and 48 hand-carved wooden horses. It features the Wurlitzer #157 Band Organ. Relocated to Kings Island as Grand Carousel.|
|Land of Oz boats||19??||19??|
|Laff-in-the-Dark||1937||1960||Scary things appear and jump at two-passenger carriages.|
|TopSpin||2015||2019||SBF Visa Group Midi Dance Party 360.|
|Python||1999||2019||From Splash Zone Water Park (1996-1999)|
|Ferris Wheel||1990||2019||Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel; riders Ascend 40 feet (12 m) into the air above Lake Como.|
|EuroBungy||2010||2019||Bungee Trampoline Attraction; riders are attached to bungee cords and can jump onto a trampoline inside a dome, it is only available on certain days.|
|Scrambler||1991||2019||Standard Eli Bridge Scrambler.|
|Tilt-A-Whirl||1992||2019||Standard Tilt-A-Whirl painted green and purple. Relocated from defunct Fantasy Farm park.|
|Super Round Up||1993||2019||Round Up (ride); mass-produced "Round Up" ride.|
|Flying Bobs||1994||2019||Matterhorn (ride); Chance "Matterhorn" ride.|
|Carousel||1998||2019||Merry Go Round consisting of 30 horses and two chariots. Chance Rides model.|
|Dodgems||2000||2019||Bumper Cars; oval-shaped bumper cars ride with a center island. A one-way sign is posted, although it is not always followed.|
|Tempest||2001||2019||Grover Watkins Tempest; "A tornado-like whirling dervish that cannot be found anywhere else in the state of Ohio." Relocated from Americana/Lesourdesville Lake Amusement Park.|
|Giant Slide||2001||2019||Giant Slide or Fun Slide; three-lane, approximately 25 feet (7.6 m)-tall Giant Slide.|
|Frog Hopper||2003||2019||S&S power Frog Hopper; bouncing spring ride with a frog theme.|
|Scream Machine||2005||2019||50 feet (15 m)-tall Moser Spring Ride|
|Rock-O-Plane||2007||2019||Eyerly Rock-O-Plane; originally opened at LeSourdesville Lake in 1949.|
|River Runner||2008||2019||Pirate Ship (ride); relocated from Wild West World after its closure. Canoe-themed.|
|Paddle Boats||unknown||2019||Pedal Boats; located on Lake Como.|
|Wipeout||2014||2019||Spinning Lift Ride; opened at Coney Island in 2014, flips riders upside down in circles 20 feet in the air. Built by Moser Rides.|
Coney Island serves as the location for several festivals, including Summerfair Arts Festival, the "Cincinnati Celtic World Festival", the Appalachian Festival and the Cincinnati Flower and Farm Fest. Concerts are also held in the Moonlite Gardens area of the park, most notably by Over the Rhine.
Scenes from the old children's TV show The Banana Splits were filmed on location at Coney Island.
- "Coney Island History". Archived from the original on 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- Felix Winternitz & Sacha DeVroomen Bellman (2007). Insiders' Guide to Cincinnati. Globe Pequot. p. 166. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
- Jacques, Jr., Charles J., Cincinnati's Coney Island: America's Finest Amusement Park, 2002, Amusement Park Journal (ISBN 0-9614392-7-0)
- "JUST IN: Amusement park shutting down all rides for good". WHIO-TV via WCPO. September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- Underwood, Brad (September 9, 2019). "Here's why Coney Island is getting rid of all of its rides". WKRC. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- Caproni, Erin (September 9, 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: Here's why Coney Island's rides are going away and what's next for the historic park". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- Miller and Baker Inc. 1923 Catalogue (reprint). Natrona Heights, PA: Amusement Park Journal. 1923.